Okkervil River Announces ‘A Dream in the Dark: Two Decades of Okkervil River’ Live Retrospective

Last year, Okkervil River, the long-running project of singer-songwriter Will Sheff, launched A Dream in the Dark: Two Decades of Okkervil River, a digital subscription series of twelve live albums that spanned the band’s storied career. The best of the series has been curated into a chronological 24-track compilation featuring performances captured from sweaty dive bars, lavish concerts halls, and festival stages across the world. The record will be released digitally this Friday, September 18, and as a special edition quadruple LP vinyl boxset on October 30.

Their passioned live energy – something all music fans are missing in today’s pandemic world – is captured in these recordings, which feature songs from across Okkervil River’s catalog, from their 2002 debut Don’t Fall in Love with Everyone You See to their mid-2000s breakout albums Black Sheep Boy and The Stage Names and their most recent studio album, 2018’s In the Rainbow Rain. The tracks were mixed by Sheff and longtime Okkervil River engineer and producer Phil Palazzolo.

“I wanted it to be sleek and fun and satisfying, a complement to our studio albums,” says Sheff in an accompanying interview. “I wanted to include all the songs people always ask for live, but I went for versions that felt like exciting upgrades to the studio versions or drastically different approaches. Over the years, we’ve had a ton of fun re-imagining the songs completely and letting them breathe and mutate; I wanted to include a lot of that stuff since this felt like a rare opportunity to put more than one arrangement of my songs out into the streaming and vinyl universe. So in a way, this is like greatest hits and a rarities record that shows you a quite different side of the band than is on our albums.” Listen to A Dream in the Dark: Two Decades of Okkervil River below…

The vinyl edition of A Dream in the Dark is packaged in a quadruple-sleeved hardback booklet and features rare photographs of the band throughout the years. It is available for pre-order NOW.

To commemorate the boxset, Sheff will be reviving his fan-favorite Rarities & Requests show as a streaming concert on October 29 at 9pm EST. “I’ve had some of my most fun onstage experiences of the past few years doing the ‘Rarities & Requests’ touring format, but because of logistics we’ve often had to restrict these shows to larger markets,” he says. “Under the current quarantine situation, I thought it would be really cool to play a streaming ‘Rarities & Requests’ show where we could open the request pool to anybody all over the world. This will be the first Okkervil streaming show we’ve done this his year, and I’m super excited about it.” Tickets are available HERE.

Okkervil River – A Dream In The Dark: Two Decades of Okkervil River
1. Westfall [Northampton, 2006]
2. No Key, No Plan [Ann Arbor, 2006]
3. Kansas City [Northampton, 2006]
4. Listening to Otis Redding at Home During Christmas [Austin, 2007]
5. For Real [Austin, 2007]
6. It Ends With a Fall [Richmond, 2008]
7. Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe [Richmond, 2008]
8. Unless It’s Kicks [Rees-Haldern, 2008]
9. It Was My Season [Minneapolis, 2008]
10. Down Down the Deep River [Bozeman, 2013]
11. Lost Coastlines [Bozeman, 2013]
12. A Stone [New York City, 2015]
13. Another Radio Song [New York City, 2015]
14. Okkervil River R.I.P. [Brussels, 2016]
15. Judey on a Street [Brussels, 2016]
16. So Come Back, I Am Waiting [Brussels, 2016]
17. Okkervil River Song [Seattle, 2017]
18. The Surgeon Above the Arbor [Seattle, 2017]
19. Skiptracer [Stockholm, 2018]
20. Black [London, 2018]
21. Pink-Slips [Stockholm, 2018]
22. External Actor [Cambridge, 2019]
23. Mary on a Wave [Washington, DC, 2019]
24. Your Past Life as a Blast [Cambridge, 2019]

Photo credit: Shervin Lainez

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